Don Giovanni Records has announced the release of a new non-fiction book titled Love, Death and Photosynthesis written by Bela Koe-Krompecher, chronicler of the Columbus underground rock scene and co-owner of Anyway Records. The book is available for pre-order now, and will be in independent book stores everywhere on August 6, 2021.
During the heyday of the late ’80s indie underground, high school sweethearts Bela Koe-Krompecher and Jenny Mae Leffel moved together from small-town Ohio to the big city of Columbus to pursue education and a dream of something more. When they arrived, the two met Jerry Wick, a prickly malcontent and lead singer of the punk rock band Gaunt, and the trio quickly forged a contentious friendship that would be challenged for the next 20 years by addiction, mental illness, homelessness, divergent whims and tragic paths. They bonded over their obsessive love of music, especially the scrappy, welcoming world of independent labels and bands, where heroes could be a neighbor, a bartender or even a know-it-all behind the counter of a record store.
Through the label Koe-Krompecher and Wick launched, Anyway Records, and the music Leffel made, these three friends gained fans nationwide and garnered unexpected critical acclaim from The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, SPIN and more while sharing the stage with bands like Superchunk, Mudhoney and Guided by Voices. Koe-Krompher was also involved in Columbus’ underground music scene as a writer, concert promoter. In 2009, he began a popular blog chronicling his involvement in the burgeoning midwestern music scene and the characters who inhabited much of the national underground music world. He has since written three graphic comics based on his stories and experiences, which have been compared to the likes of Harvey Pekar, Nate Powell, and John Porcellino.
In addition, his writing has appeared in the awarding winning book Malls Across America, as well as the publications Shredding Paper, Raygun, Dagger, and 614. Bela continues to champion new artists through Anyway while working as a social worker, professor, and guest lecturer in Columbus, Ohio.
At its heart, Love, Death & Photosynthesis is a story of the love between friends and the power of music to pull people together—often in spite of themselves—in the universal search for connection.